'I watched her as a kid... now we have a kid!' Liam Payne, 24, declares himself 'biggest winner' for romance with 'amazing' Cheryl, 34... as he reveals heavy drinking led to 'fat jibes' in 1D
He famously first met his girlfriend Cheryl in 2008, when she was a judge on The X Factor and he was a 14-year-old boy hoping to make his musical dreams a reality.
And now that Liam Payne, 24, is romantically involved with the 34-year-old star - and they share six-month-old son Bear - the former One Direction heartthrob feels that he has become the hit show's 'biggest winner' after admiring her as a young fan.
'It's a ridiculous place to be in,' he told The Telegraph Magazine of his romance with Cheryl. 'She's even more amazing than I thought. I was watching her do Fight For This Love [her debut solo single, from 2009] when I was a kid, and now we're together with a kid. I feel like I'm X Factor's biggest winner.'
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Dream come true: Liam Payne has declared himself The X Factor's 'biggest winner' for his romance with Cheryl, after becoming a fan of hers when he was a teenager
During his interview with the publication, he also spoke about some of his darker days in 1D, when his brief spell of heavy drinking led to weight gain - and jibes.
'I wasn't happy,' he admitted. 'I went through a real drinking stage, and sometimes you take things too far. Everyone's been that guy at the party where you're the only one having fun, and there were points when that was me.
'I got to 13 stone, just eating c**p. I got fat jibes, and it affects your head. I have nothing to hide about it... As I say, it was like a musical university. We were pretty reckless, but I got out of my system. I had my fun.'
Fantasy come true: Liam admitted that Cheryl has proved to be 'even more amazing' to be with since they embarked on their romance in 2015
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New mum Cheryl's currently on holiday with her beau Liam Payne. Enjoying a well-deserved break in the sun, the pair have been keeping their Instagram feeds updated with the trip, posting several snaps of them on a boat ride.
Cheryl looked her usual stylish self for the occasion sporting an orange bikini teamed with a matching Cloe Cassandro wrap dress.
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How it all began: Liam first met Cheryl in 2008, when she was a judge on The X Factor and he was a 14-year-old aspiring singer, intent bringing his big musical dreams to fruition
On the cusp of success: The singer, seen with his bandmate Niall Horan on The X Factor in 2010, went on to become a huge chart-topping star as a part of One Direction
Worldwide fame: He went on to enjoy worldwide fame alongside bandmates (L-R) Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Niall. They're pictured together in 2013
Unhappy: However, Liam admitted that he went through a phase of unhappiness, which saw him drinking heavily and led to 'fat jibes' over his subsequent weight gain
Liam admits Cheryl’s own considerable experience in the music industry, both with Girls Aloud and as a solo artist in her own right, turned her into a ‘rock’ as he took his first tentative step into spotlight without his three band-mates.
He told Entertainment Tonight Canada: ‘She’s broken records in the UK for having the most singles as a solo female go number one. So it’s like you have one of the best people at this job at your house saying, "Come on! You can do this."'
Away from music Liam and Cheryl have embraced parenthood following the birth of their fist child, son Bear, in March.
Something kinda ooh! Liam admitted that he watched Cheryl as a young fan when she performed her 2009 solo pop hit Fight For This Love
Proud dad: Liam and Cheryl welcomed their first child, son Bear, in March, and the singer admits he's already inherited their love of music
Ab fab: At the start of the month, the singer showed off her enviably toned abs as she attended the #GameForGrenfell charity football match in London
And the star admits he has already inherited their love of music, adding: 'He loves singing. He loves being sang to. That’s what makes him happy and what makes him laugh, so maybe there’s a bit of music in him, you know.
'He’s just a super happy, chill baby. We’re super blessed that he just chills out and since he was eight weeks, he’s been sleeping 11 hours.'
Liam and Cheryl had welcomed Bear into the world back in March, after the former Girls Aloud star had kept notoriously private about her pregnancy.
Introducing her son on Instagram days after his birth, Cheryl penned: 'On Wednesday 22nd March Liam and I became parents to an incredibly beautiful, healthy baby boy, weighing 7lb 9 and looking like a dream. Although he still doesn't have a name he is already stealing hearts.'
She continued: 'We are all madly in love and overwhelmingly happy with our little arrival. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers around the world. A day that now has a different meaning to me forever.'
The big reveal: In November, Cheryl unveiled her baby bump during an outing with Liam, after months of speculation over whether she was expecting her first child
Smitten: The happy couple appeared to steal a moment away from their parenting duties as they cuddled up for a bevy of new snaps during a recent break
Natural beauty: The bikini-clad mother-of-one looked sensational in a recent Snapchat upload
Happy: Louis Tomlinson stormed the stage with Bebe Rexha at Daytime Village Presented by Capital One at the 2017 HeartRadio Music Festival at the Las Vegas Village
Jump around: Bebe wore an eye-catching gold co-ord
Heart and soul: Louis sang emotionally to the crowd
Hands in the air: Bebe and Louis appeared to have a blast as they danced around on stage
Casual: Louis wore just a casual printed sweatshirt and jeans for the performance
Belting it out: He belted out a string of his hits
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